The art of digital cocreation

Digital work is inherently iterative, overlapping, and messy. Design, content, and code aren’t experienced separately and thankfully the lines between these disciplines are increasingly blurred. We’re all equally responsible for delighting users and the business outcomes that result from it.

Responsive, adaptive, gesture-driven, digital design has ushered in complexities that require designers, developers, and digital workers of all kinds to cocreate the constituents that cause the experiences we want users to have. The secret isn’t content first or content last — it’s design, content, and code together, at the same time. It’s constant collaboration that makes the magic to happen.

Collaboration isn’t gathering a group of people to brainstorm. Nor is it latching onto someone else’s process or finding a shiny tool that’ll make people more efficient. Collaboration is creating the environment where our own magic can emerge.

Collaborating makes us feel good about what we produce together and it delivers tangible business benefits:

  • Improved alignment so we can deliver better business outcomes.
  • No politics so we can launch faster.
  • Reduced rework so we can decrease costs.
  • Higher morale so we can increase productivity.
  • Increased confidence so we can innovate boldly.

A culture of openness can enable truly effective collaboration and future-ready design. Having an open mindset and a personal belief system grounded in equality and respect for colleagues sends a signal that we’re willing to collaborate—we welcome other ideas; we know that we don’t know all the answers and we’re ok with it; we’re constantly curious and ask lots of questions; we’re respectful of the skills, strengths, and humanity of our collaborators and we seek to learn from one another.

By collaborating we can focus our courage and curiosity on the big picture and the whole outcome. We’re free to jump in wherever we can help and add value. Through our willingness to be more open in our day-to-day work, we contribute to building a culture of collaboration. This is the only way we’ll design beautifully connected experiences for users and deliver business benefits that are hard for anyone to deny.

Product management comes up with answers to questions but figuring out the right questions to ask comes more readily from the whitespace between content, design and code. That’s where the bedrock for digital cocreation begins — intense collaboration and user-centred innovation that rapidly evaluates ideas to turn ambitions and strategies into products and early profits.